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Glass, Gloss, Smoke, and Mirrors

Summer 2015
Instructor: Hernan Diaz Alonso

The nature of the studio was aimed at capturing an entity which could be anti-mass and edgeless. Blurred and undefined masses argue for a more metamorphic body, one that creates mutants by stitching together parts from non-opaque effects in localized conditions. The project, being relentlessly defined by creasing, however, embraces its edge conditions and uses the effects of embedded glass to reflect material qualities of gold and as a result produce an illusion of luxury.

This new imaginative Grand Palais defines itself with built in systems of camouflage by taking advantage of phenomenal effects of reflectivity and transparency in glass and gold. Embedding creasing and edge conditions of glass within a reflective framework allows mimicry of structure and a multiplicity of reflective elements.

Its overall visage transforms the Grand Palais and embeds it into a fictional Paris, one reminiscent of lavish ornamentation and grandeur spaces. Being of a single exhibition space, the Grand Palais is in essence a blank canvas, one left for the imagination of the user. Such a jewel placed within a simulated dystopian environment allows for a new perspective of the surrounding area. The terracing and layout of the project gives off a sense of nobility and wealth, yet situates it towards the public and more pedestrian sectors. Whether figural and clearly defined, or ambiguous and edgeless, the project proposes a fairy tale story that becomes beautifully timeless as a jewel of the city.

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